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Friday, January 04, 2008

On Obama

The New York Times claims that: "Mr. Obama’s victory in this [Iowa for those of you living in holes] overwhelmingly white state was a powerful answer to the question of whether America was prepared to vote for a black person for president. What was remarkable was the extent to which race was not a factor in this contest."

I would love to believe that, cannot bring myself to do so though for two reasons. First, it seems evident that the willingness of white Democratic voters to elect black officials is higher than that of white Republican voters. A victory in this Democratic caucus is thus no indication of his chances in a general, national election. Second (from a paper I recently wrote ):

"The greater the district's racial composition tips in blacks' favor the more inclined whites are to project […] racial fears […] onto [the] […] officeseeker." In districts were blacks are a minuscule minority the chances of a black candidate to win the white vote rises because African Americans issues are less relevant, causing less anxiety in white voters."

Clearly, Iowa falls in the latter category, for other stats or the nation as a whole this is a completely different story.

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